Samantha Slattery is using her expertise and passion as a music promoter to support Because I am a Girl! She is the brains behind the Day of the Girl celebrations that took place in Toronto’s Dundas Square on October 11th, including the concert by Because I am a Girl Celebrated Ambassador Alyssa Reid. Today Samantha shares with us what it’s like being socially-conscious concert promoter!
KJ: Can you tell me a little bit about the October 11th Day of the Girl event in Toronto, and how long you’ve been involved with Because I am a Girl?
I produced the Yonge & Dundas Square portion of the day. My role was largely to facilitate to physical creation and execution of the Plan Canada Because I am a Girl vision for the event, including the stage and site branding [chalk boards, floor decals, signage, etc], musical performance, sounds and lights production, etc.
KJ: Some time ago, you decided to make shift in your career and entered the male-dominated entertainment industry. Can you tell me about what prompted the transition and what it’s like to be a woman in this field?
I’ve actually always worked in the entertainment industry, particularly concert promotion, so I’ve been a minority for most of my career. But I recently launched my own business, still promoting events, although they now include a socially conscious agenda (such as Because I am a Girl). The transition was prompted for a number of reasons, however largely due to my desire to transition professionally into social entrepreneurship.
KJ: How do you combine your involvement in music and festivals with issues and causes that you’re passionate about?
Through either my personal inclusion [as was the case with the 'International Day of the Girl'] or through the creation of my own music events, I include a social awareness component in all of my events, which typically take the form of concerts and festivals. The goal is to make the entire experience as integrated as possible, so the awareness component has a more meaningful impact.
KJ: As a mom and female entrepreneur, which issues do you think are the most important for girls in Canada, and in the rest of the world?
As a mom of both a son and daughter, I think that education is by far the most important issue for girls both nationally and internationally. Knowledge is the greatest commodity for any person, particularly those who face the economic challenges in the countries supported by Plan Canada! Being involved in the Because I am a Girl initiative I’ve learned that:
- An extra year of school for girls increases their lifetime income by 15%.
- Children of women who have completed primary school are less likely to die before age 5 than children of mothers with no schooling.
KJ: What advice would you give to girls who are thinking about choosing a career in a male-dominated field?
Don’t let any stereotypes, like those about your gender or your wealth, prevent you from pursuing your professional and personal goals. In fact, it’s often possible to play those challenges to your advantage. Everything has a silver lining…sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find that silver lining!
How would YOU use your career to support the girl issue?